Managing Under Uncertainty

Assignment Two: Case Study Analysis (2000 words)

Decision making may be viewed from a number of different perspectives such as psychological, sociological or personality and values based perspectives. In this assessment item you are required to draw on any ONE of these three perspectives, analyse the critical decisions evident in the case study in terms of relevant theories, models and frameworks and critically discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the decisions. You are also required to propose recommendations for the case characters in terms of how they might improve their decision making in the future.

Assignment Task You are required to write about Sick Leave Case study (this case will be attach)

œSick Leave

Lewicki, R. J., Saunders, D. M., Minton, J. W. & Barry, B (2003), Negotiation: Reading, Exercises and Cases, McGraw Hill/Irwin: New York “ pages 681 to 690

This assessment requires the student to engage in critical case study analysis and to engage in some research drawing on one of the following disciplinary perspectives:




From œNegotiation : readings, exercises and cases / [edited by] Roy J. Lewicki .. [et al.]œ, 4th ed.,Case 7, c2003,


Sick Leave

Kelly tried to control her angel as she thou-eht about her supervisor. She couldn’t under-

stand why he rvas being so unreasonable. Maybe to him it lvas only a couple days of

paid leave and not worth tighting over. but to her it meant the difference between being

abie to go on vacation during Golden Weekr or having to stay horne. She looked at her

contract and the phone number of CLAIR on her desk. She u,asn’t the only person in the

ofTice aff’ected by this. She sat and thought about horv she should proceed.


Kelly was 22 years old and had been rvorking for the past six months at the Soto

Board of Education office in Japan. This was her first job after graduating from college

with a degree in rnanagement. and she was reall,v excited to irnally be in the real r.vorld.

Kelly rvas born in Calgary and had spent most of her life in Alberta, Canada.

Kelly’s father was a successful larvyer in Calgary, and her mother was a high school

English teacher. Kelly had an older sister, Laurel, 27 , who had just passed the bar exam

and was working fbr a corporate law firm in Edmonton.

Kelly had studied Japanese in high school and in university and spoke and wrote

the language quite well. When she was 15 years oid, Kelly spent tbur months in Japan

on a school exchange. She had enjoyed the time she spent there and ahvays planned to

return one day. Upon graduating tiom high school. Kelly lvent to the University of

Alberta, in Ednonton, to stucly nlarragement.

During her final year at the universitv, Kelly heard some of her friends talking about

the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. She rvas told ihat it rvas quite easy to

get accepte(l-all an applicant needed was a university deglee and an interest in Japan-

and that it rvould be a great way to rnake rloney and see another part of the world. Kelly

would have her degree by the end of the year and thought that having lived in Japan and

knowing the language shorved enough interest to have her application considered. Kelly

thought that a year or lwo in Japan after her n.)anageilrent degree would improve her

This case u’as u’ritten bv Laura Turek. Coprnghr C1996 br Laura Turek. Used u’ith permission. This case

w’as prepared as a basis lbr classroom discu:.ior. lrol to illostr&re either the etfective or ineffective nlanagement

of an administrative sitLration.

rGolden Week is the period lrorn Apr:i lr) :,r lr) 5. in rrhich there are four

-lapanese national holidays.

{an1²Japanese erlp}ot’ees and their lanri;ie. :-r,:: ;rrjran[lge ofthis period to go on t,acation.


Case 7

Japanese alld give her r.nore of a competitive advantage when she retllrned to Canada to

begin her career. She also thought that it u,ould be a great way to make money and have

some fun before she came home to staft a real job. She asked her fiiencl horv she could

apply to the program and returned home that ni_uht to u,clrk on her r6sum€.


Before the JET Program

The ori-sins ofthe JETprogram can be traced backto 1982. In that year. the Japanese

Ministry of Education (Monbusho) initiated a project known as the Monbusho English

Feilorvs (NIEF) Prograrn, rvhich hired Americans to rvork at the iocal boards of education

in order to assist Japanese English teaching consultants who acted as advisors to the

Japanese teachers of English in the public schools. The task of the MEFs was to oversee

the junior and senior high school English teiichers and to assist them rvith their training. In

1983. the British English Teachers Schenre (BETS) was inaugurated by the Ministry of

Education. However, from the outset the British teachers were statiolred at schools, and

the goals of the program did not only concern English instruction but also sought tcr

increase mutuai understanding and improve friendly relations between the peopies of

Japan and Britain. While there were solne dil}’erences betrveen the two programs, both

shared tr common goal: inviting native English speakers to Japan to assist in improving

lbreign-language instruct ion.

The Birth of the JET Program

The realization that Japan lnust open itself nrore fully to contact with international

society began to foster an awareness of the iniportance of promoting internationaliza-

tion and international exchange at the local level. This brought about not only

expanded Engiish instruction, but also a rapid increase in exchange programs. Taking

these new circumstances into account, the Japanese Ministry ol Horne Atlairs in 1985

reieased a paper entitled œPlans for International Exchange Projects as part of its pli-

ority policy of local governments for the tbllowing year. In the paper, the Ministry of

Home Alfairs proposed a definite course for the internationalization of local govern-

ments, which ideally would lead to smoothly functioning cultLrral exchanges. All of

these ideas were linally implemented in a concrete project: the Japan Exchange and

Teaching (JET) Program.

The Ministry of Home Allairs abolished the two projects curently in effect (MEF and

BETS) and created a new one that was entrusted simultaneously to tluee niinislries: the

N{inistry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education. and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

However, the concept of appointing local authorities to implement the prograrn and act as

host institutions was preserved. While discussions were held rvith each of the local author-

ities to rvork out the details and ensure the smooth inrp)ementation of such a massi.,,e pro-

gram, the formation of a cooperative organization for all local government was expedited.

The Creation of CLAIR

CLAIR, originally the Conierence of Local Authorities tbr Intemational Relatr,.:-

rvas established in October 1986 b1 r.heTodoJilketi (the 47 prel’ectures of Japanliinu ii:

Sick Leave

Seircishiteitoslil (the lthenl l0 designated cities) as a cooperative organization respon-

sible for implementing the JET program in conjunction with the three Japanese rnin-

istries narned above.

CLAIR’s Role in the JET Program

To ensure smooth irnplementation of the JET program, the three ministries, the

local authorities. and CLAIR rvere all given speciiic functions. The functions that the

confelence atternpted to fuifill for implenenting the JET program wet’e as follorvs:

1. Advice and liaison during recruitment and selection.

2. Placement of participants.

3. Participant orientation, conf-erences.

4. Guidance for local authority host institutions.

-5. Participant weltare and counseling.

6. Tlavel alrangements for participants coming to Japan.

7. Liaison rvith related groups and institutions.

8. Publications and reference materials.

9. Publicity for the program.

The larger goal behind these functions of the conference was the promotion of

international exchange at the local level. Independent of this development, the Council

of Local Authorities for International Relations (a public endowed foundation) was

inaugurated in July 1987. The council’s main duty rvas to study and survey participat-

ing nations’ local authorities overseas r.vith the ultimate objective being to support local

government programs for the promotion of internationalization. By fostering interna-

tionai exchange at the regional level, the councii came to assume the same duties as the

Conf-erence of Local Authorities for International Relations. It was suggested that both

organizations merge since they held information relevant to each other’s work and

shared the goals of improving rvork efficiency and performing their tasks more effec-

tively. Moreover, the annual growth of the JET program led to an increased number of

interrelated duties and tasks. Thus, it was necessary to strengthen the structure of the

Conference of Local Authorities for International Relations.

It was decided that the operations and financiai assets of the conference would be

assumed by the council, and in August 1989 they were amalgamated, under the

acronym of CLAIR, to form a joint organization of local pubiic bodies in Japan to sup-

port and promote internationalization at the regional level.

Counseling System of JET (Figure 1)

l. Role of the host instirution. Baiicalir problems which JET participants

faced dr-rring their stay in Japan * ere ad,j:e .:ed by’ the host institution. If a JET had

a complaint or a probleni at uork or in his or her private life, the JET could alert

his or her supervisor, who took up ihe nratter and attemptecl to solve it.

2. Role o.t CIAIR. Problerns or dittrculties rvhich JET progranr participants

facecl u’ere as a ntle dealt rritn ii ::,’.i ir.r.titutions. Horvever. if the issues rvere

684 Case 7

FIGURE I Counselins Svstem

Ministry of Foreign

Special Committee for

Affairs, Education and

Counseling and Training

Home Atfairs

Association for

the Japan

Exchange and

Teaching (AJEI)


diffrcult to solve at this level, or ifthey concerned grievances between the JET panic-

ipant and the host institution, CLAIR employed a number of non-Japanese program

coordinators who rvould intervene and respond directly to participants’ needs.

CLAIR rvould then step in on behalf of the JET parlicipant and work to solve the

problems with the host institution.

3. The Speciol Comtnittee Jor Cowtseling wd Truittittg. The Special Comnrittee

for Counseling and Training consisted of the staff members of the three ministries

(Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, and Education), embassies of the participating

countries, and host institutions. It took charge of orientation, cont’erences. public

welfare, and counseling. If necessary, it answered the questions and concerns of the

JET participants.


The Association tbr the Japan Exchange and Teaching (AJET) Program was an

independent, self-supporting organization created by JET program participants, whose

elected officers were all volunteers. Membership in AJET was also voiuntary. AJET

provided members with infonnation about rvorking and Iiving in Japan and provided a

support network for members at the local, regionai, and national levels. Many Japanese

and JETs considered AJET to be the union of the JET program participants.


Kelly looked over the information she received liom JET. There were two difTerent

positions avaiiable: ( 1 ) the coordinator for internationaj relations (CIR) and (2) the Assis-

tant Language Teacher (ALT). The first position sounded quite interesting to Keliy since

Sick Leave

applicants were required to ha,e a tunctional knowledge of Japanese. ALTs, on the other

hand. were not required to know an),Japanese belbre aniving in Japan. She realized that

her odds of getting accepted were greater if she applied to the second position since

almost 600 ALTs were selected across Canada, compared with only 25 CiRs. Kelly was

chosen for a CIR interview but in the end was offered a position as an ALT. At first she

u’as a little disappointed, but then she reminded herself that her original goal was to per-

fect her Japanese. and she started to look tbrward to her trip to Japan,

Kelly received a lot of information about rvorking and living in Japan from

CLAIR. CLAIR also olTered several predeparture training sessions and orientations

about lif-e in Japan and its potentiai problems, but she decided not to attend. because

after lbur months in Japan she already knew what to expect.


Kelly r.vas sent to Soto, a medir.rrrr-sized city on the island of Shikoku. Kelly found

the area a far cry fror.n Osaka, where she had stayed the previous time she rvas in Japan.

Soto was, in Kelly’s opinion, œa srnall provincial town. stuck in the middle of nowhere.

She had enjoyed the activity and night life of Osaka and, except for sports, her only enter-

tainment options in Soto were one movie theater’, several pachinko2parlors, and scores of

karaoke b’ars. Kelly very quickly developed the habit of going away on the weekends to

tour dift’erent parts ofthe rsland. She would also use her holidays to take advantage ofvis-

iting pats of Japan that she might never again get a chance to see. After a few rnonths,

Kelly decided that Soto was at least a good place to improve her Japanese since not many

people spoke Engiish very well, and only a few other foreigners lived there.

Kelly worked at the board of education office three days a week and visited

schools the other trvo days to help with their English programs. There were three other

JET participants u,ho worked in the same oftice: Mark. 27, another Canadian; Andrea.

26, an Americanl and Suzanne, 25, flom Britain. Like Kelly, Suzanne had been in Japan

for only the past six months, while Mark and Andrea had been working there tor a year

and a half. Kelly was on good terms rvith the other JETs in the oft-ice, aithough she rvas

closest with Suzanne sitrce they had both arrived in Japan at the same time and had met

at their orientation in Tokyo.

Atthough Kelly had lived in Japan befbre, this was the first time she had rvorked in

a Japanese ofhce, She had learned about Japanese work habits in a cross-cultural man-

agenrellt class at the university, yet she was stili surprised at how committed the Japa-

nese ‘ere to their jobs. The workday began each morning at 8:30 with a staff meeting

and ofticially ended each night at 5:00 p.rt., yet no one left the office before 7:00 or 8:00

p.rt. The Japanese also came in on Saturdal,s, which Kelly thought was absurd since it

lett the erlployees with only one day a week to relax or spend time with their families.

Kelll’ and the other JETs in the ofllce had a standard North American contract

given to them by CLAIR rvhich stipulated hours. number of vacation days, amount of

lPichinko ir a Japanese-sryle game ol chance that resemble a cross betri,een pinball and a slot machine

It is it r el popular pastinre antong certain groups and. Iike anr forrn of gambling. can be quite lucrative.

686 Cast 7

sick leave. and so on (Figure 2). The co,ltract stated that the JET participants only

u,orked frorn lvlonday to Friday until 5:00 p.:ut. and did not mention working on Satur-

days. Neither Kelly nor the other tbreigners ever put in extra hours at the office, nor

were they eYer asked to do so.

FIGURE 2 Contract of English Teaching Engagement

Article 11: Paid Leave

Sectiotr I

During the period of ernployment and rvith the approval ol his/her supervisor. the JET participant

may use 20 paid holida-vs individually or consecutively.

Set’tiort 2

When the JET participant wishes to niake use ol one ol the above-rnentioned paid holidays. heishe

shlll infi>rm his/her supervisor three days in advance. Should the JET participant rvish to use more

than three paid holidavs in succession. he/she is required to infbrm hislrer supervisor one nionth

in advance.

Article l2: Special Holidays

SeL’tion l

The JET participant shall be entitled to special holidays under the follorving circurnstartces:

l. Sick leave-the period of serious illness or injury resulting in an acknorvledged inability to


2. Bereaventent-the period of l4 consecutire days. including Sundays und natioual holidays,

inrnrecliately atier the loss of tather’. nlother. or spouse.

3. Natural disaster-the period the boald oleducation deems necessary in the event ol’destruction

oi or selit>us danra-ue to the JET participant’s place of residence.

4. Tlanspoltation systenr tailure-the period until the said problem has been resolved,

Set-tiur 2

Under the conditions ofArticle 12^ Section I (1). above, the JET participant uray take not nlore

than 20 days of consecutive sick leave. Moreover. ii tlie interval between two such periods of

sick leave is less than one rveek. those two periods shall be regarded as continuoLls.

Secti<ttt -l

The special holidays noted above in Article 12. Section l. are paid holidays.

Article 171 Procedure for Taking (Sick) Leave

Sectiotr l

When the JET participant rvishes to nrake- use of the special holidays/leave specitied in Article

12. Section l. he/she mr-rst apply and receive couseni froni his/hel supervisor before taking the

requested holidays. If circumstances prevent the JET participant ii’om makirrg necessary appli-

cation betblehand, he/she should do so as soon as conditions perrnit it.

Section 2

In the event of the JET participant taking three or more consecutive days of sick leave, he/she

must submit a doctor’s certiticate. Thc board of education nay require the JET parricipant to

obtain the said medical certificate flour a nredical practitioner specified by the board.

Sick Leave 687

Kelly’s supervisor was VIr. Higashi. At first Kelly thought that he was very kind

and helptul becanse he had picked her and Suzanne up frorn the airport and had

arranged their housing belbre they arrived in Japan. Mr’. Higashi even took rhe two

women shopping to help them buy necessary items like bedding and dishes so they did

rlot have to be without. even fbr one night.


IvIr. Higashi was born and had lived all of his life in Soto. He ˜,vas 44 years old and

had been teaching high school English in and around Soto for more than 20 years. Two

years ago. Mr. Higashi was promoted to rvork as an adviser to all English teachers at the

Soto Boarcl of Education. This tvas a career-making move, and one that placed him on

the track to becoming a school principal.

This nerv position at the board of education made Mr. Higashi the direct supervisor

o/er the tbreign JET participants in the office. as well as making him responsible fbr

their actions. He had workecl rvith them befbre rvhen he rvas still teaching in the schools,

but since thel,only came once a rveek to his school, he had never had the chance to get

to know any of thern really rvell.

Mr. Higashi tound it very difficult to work with JETs. Since they rvere hired on a

one-yi:ar contract basis, renewabie only to a maximum of thlee, he hacl already seen

several come and go. He also considered it inconvenient that Japanese was not a

lequirement for the JET participants because, since he was the only person in the office

who could speak English, he found that he wasted a lot of his time rvorking as an inter-

preter and helping the fbreigners do simple everyday tasks like reading electric bills and

opening a bank account. Despite this, he did his best to treat the foreign assistants as he

wotrld arry other kohcti, or subordinate, by nurturing their careers and acting as a father

to them. since he knew what rvas best tbr theni. NIr. Higashi was avare that his next

prornotion was due not only to his orvn perfbnnance btit also to how rvell he interacted

with his subordinates, so he r,vorked harcl to be a good mentor.

lvlr. Higashi took ar.r instant liking to Kelly because she spoke Japanese well and

had already hved in Japan. Although she was the youngest of the four ALTs, he hoped

that she would guide the others and assumed that she rvould not be the source of any

problems for him.


At frrst. Mr. Higashi seemed fine. All of the ALTs sat in two rolvs ˜ovith their desks

facing each other, as they used to do in grade school. with Mr. Higashi’s desk facing

Kelly’s. The foreigners ali agreed that Mr. Higashi actecl more like a father than a boss.

He continually asked Kelly and Stizanne how theli,rvere enjoying Japanese life and kept

encouraging them to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. He left brochures on

Kelly’s desk for courses in flower arranging and tea ceremony and even one on Japanese

cooking. At first Kelly found tiris rather aurusing. but she soon tired of it and stafied to get

fed up with this constant pressure to œsign up ibr Japanese cuiture. What she resented

the most was that Mr. Higashi kept insisting she try activities that were traditionally

Clse 7

considered a woman’s domain. Not that she had anything against flou,ers, but if she had

been a man, she knew that Mr. Higashi rvould not have hassled her this nruch to flt in. She

knelv that Japanese society rvas a male-dominated one. On her t’irst day at the office,

Kelly had looked around and noticed that there were no Japanese women who had been

promoted to such a senior ievel within the board of education. The only rvornen rvho

worked therc rvere young and single œoffice ladies or secretaries. Although they were all

very sweet young women, Kelly was not about to become one of lhem and œretire if ancl

rvhen she found a husband.

Kelly had been very aclive in sporls back in Canada and bought herself a mountain

bike when she arived in Japau so that she could go fol rides in the country. At Si.tzanne’s

encouragement, Kelly joined a local Kendo club. She had seen this .lapanese style of

i’encing betbre back in Calgary, and had always been attracted to the fast mor.ements and

interesting unitorms. Keily hoped that Mr. Higashi rvould be satisfred that she u,as finally

getting involved in sornething traditionally Japanese and leave her alone.

On top of his chauvinistic attitudes. Kelly didn’t think much of Mr. Higashi as a

supervisor. If Kelly or any ofthe other tbreigners had a problern or question concerning

livrng in Japan, he would either ignore thern or give them intbrmation that they later

tbund out was incorrect. Andrea told Kelly that she stopped going to N{r. Higashi when

she had probierns and instead consulted the oftlce lacly, since she was always able to

help her. Andrea had even joked that the office lady should be their sr.rpervisor because

she u,as by fhr more e